Rita Sutton of Colwood hand-finishes one of 11 quilts destined for victims of the Alberta floods this week.

Quilters lend helping hand to Calgary

Guild creates kit quilts for shipping to victims of flood

In a Colwood home, a circle of ladies hand-sew the finishing touches on a bundle of quilts bound for Alberta this week.

Their tongues and fingers move quickly in the impromptu quilting bee, which aims to create comfort for flood victims.

Members of the West Shore Quilters Guild quickly came together once they realized a member of their own had close ties to flood-ravaged Calgary.

“I relocated from Calgary to here two years ago,” said member Jeni Mummery of East Sooke. “A lot of my friends and quilting family are back in Calgary.”

When she learned of efforts spearheaded by friends there, she decided to take action and came up with Quilting for Calgary (facebook.com/groups/quiltingforcalgary/).

“I thought, I’ve got to do something,” Mummery said. She started with a Facebook post, offering up her skills and equipment. “I’m sitting here with my big long-arm (quilting) machine … This is what I can do to help.”

Mummery and her machinery offered the ability to create quilts quickly from kits pre-assembled by the West Shore Quilters Guild.

“We had kits put together in our warehouse ready to go,” said Jan Gillis, guild president.

While the cleanup is ongoing from last month’s devastating flood, many people affected lost everything.

“The capability of people getting back what they lost are low,” Gillis said.

The guild has sent 22 quilts so far and planned to have another 11 go out today (July 12).

“It’s comfort and well-being, that’s the age-old thing with quilts,” said Rita Sutton, thimble-covered thumb countering the needle as she worked.

Added Mummery: “It’s letting people know somebody out there is thinking about you. You’re not alone, we’re doing what we can to help.”

Transporting the quilts was done through WestJet’s Air Angels program, in which staffers volunteer to get emergency relief items where they need to go.

The West Shore Quilters Guild routinely supports various causes, including the Victoria Women’s Transition House.

Follow the guild online at westshorequiltersguild.com.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com